Walter Becker was a founding member of Steely Dan.

SAM MIRCOVICH / REUTERS

Walter Becker was a founding member of Steely Dan.

Walter Becker, co-founder of influential jazz-rock band Steely Dan, has died at the age of 67, according to his website, which has not disclosed the cause of death.

Becker, who played lead guitar, formed Steely Dan with Donald Fagen, his keyboardist and vocalist. At their peak in the 1970s, the group recorded hits with Reelin ‘in the years, Do it again, Rikki does not lose this number and Deacon Blues.

Becker and Fagen became friends as students at Bard College in New York in the late 1960s. After working as touring musicians, they moved to Los Angeles and released Steely Dan’s debut album in 1972: I can’t buy a thrill. The group takes its name from a whimsical dildo that appears in the beat novel by novelist William S. Burroughs. Naked lunch.

The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 2001, where their official biography describes their 1970s albums as “ironic, nuanced and hyper literate” which are “highly regarded by connoisseurs of pop hooks, jazz harmony and dryness. mind.”

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After a long hiatus, the band reunited in the late 1990s to record their first studio album in 20 years, according to the Steely Dan website. This album, Two unnatural, would go on to win the album of the year award in 2000 at the Grammy Awards.

Becker missed concerts earlier in the year as he recovered from an unspecified medical procedure, Fagen said Billboard.



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